Buenos Aires & Northern Argentina Planning
We have been wanting to travel to South America for a number of years but Asia and later Africa always sang their siren song and we would once again promise ourselves that the next trip.....A catalyst was clearly needed and so for Xmas last year I gave V tickets to the opera in Buenos Aires and there was no longer any excuse.
Our timing was entirely driven by our opera tickets which are for the last night of the Season, Saturday Dec 7, and rather than extend the trip from that point on, which would bump us into Xmas, we are leaving next Thursday Nov 22 so as to have two weeks to wander before we need to be back in BA for the opera.
This was a difficult trip to plan. As usual we were not interested in tour groups or cruises and as usual we wanted to get off the beaten track a little. Lots of friends had traveled to Argentina but in most cases they had either headed south from BA to Patagonia or spent their time in BA and the Mendoza wine region, with a side trip to Iguazu Falls. Since we are heading into winter a chilly trek into the Patagonia highlands did not appeal, at least this time around and while spending a lazy and bibulous week touring vineyards does have a certain appeal, we decided to give some thought to our livers and postpone the pleasure, but to add Iguazu Falls to our itinerary.
So, what to do? We talked with a number of travel planners but felt as if they were variations on a well-worn theme and did not feel the sort of frisson that always tells you that the itinerary has some magic in it.
Finally, by dint of much research, V found a travel organizer named Hugh MacDermott who runs MacDermotts Argentina. We are thrilled with his itinerary for a couple of reasons; he gets it, he understood what we were looking for; he responded quickly to our questions and there was a strong sense that he listened carefully and did not offer up boiler plate; he provided more creative options than had been our experience up to that point; he was on the ground and lived in the region and so would be immediately available if needed when we were traveling; and finally, but not insignificantly, the chemistry was good and we felt confident in him, in his decisions and in his integrity. Of course this all remains to be tested in the reality of the trip, but at this point we are confident that all will be well. While Hugh does arrange group tours, our itinerary, which I'll cover in my next post, was a private trip for just the two of us.
More to come!